Getting started 4 top tips to start training for a marathon

Locker room

The countdown to race day has begun.

Running a marathon is an unforgettable experience. Full Potential, our professional running coaches, are here to help Team NSPCC get to the start line happy and healthy, ready to deliver the performance of your lives.

Every week we’ll bring you top marathon tips and advice. Every week you’ll get fitter and stronger until you’re ready to run 26.2 miles.

1. Get the balance right

Hit the right balance between training and the rest of your life. You may have to sacrifice the occasional night out as you get nearer to race day, but you don’t need to become a social hermit.

Marathon training requires focus and commitment. But it doesn’t have to take over. Structure your training around your life, not vice versa.

2. See the bigger picture

Getting ready to run a marathon is tough. There will be ups and downs along the way. Some runs will go brilliantly, some will be horrible. It happens to all of us.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned racer, a bad run is just a bad run. It’s not the end of the world. See your training as a big picture where each week you paint a little bit more to make it more complete

3. Focus on the right numbers

Ignore pace and distance. Instead focus on training at the right effort level, for a set period of time.

By focusing on a particular pace, you’ll push yourself too hard. Factors such as weather, terrain, your stress and hydration levels, might make it impossible to run as fast as you want to anyway.

Don’t worry - the pace will come as your training progresses.

4. Keep a training diary

Mark down all your runs and how you felt after each one. It’s an excellent way to track what’s working and what isn’t.

It’s also a huge motivational tool. If ever you feel like you’re struggling, you can look back at your marathon journey and see how far you’ve progressed.

Quick tip: lunges for runners

Lunges are a vital exercise for any aspiring - or experienced - runner. They build strength and endurance in your hamstrings, allowing you to run faster for longer.